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Weight-loss (diet pills) can be a safe way to assist in a person's weight reduction if prescribed and monitored by a physician and paired with overall diet and lifestyle changes. However, weight-loss pills can be highly addictive due to their stimulant qualities and when misused, even for a brief period of time. There are currently only four weight-loss pills approved by the FDA. Each of these pills has a different effect on the body, which assists in long-term weight loss.
Losing weight improves health, quality of life, and mobility in patients who are obese and suffering from illnesses and/or side effects related to weight gain.
Weight-loss pills assist patients in reaching their weight-loss goals and needs by aiding with problems caused by obesity like:
Obesity is a chronic disease. It can take months and years to achieve results. Doctors pair weight-loss pill prescriptions with lifestyle and dietary changes so that patients can achieve optimum long-term results.
Weight-loss pills are not replacements for healthy habits. However, the overall effects of these pills on the body are an appropriate tool to assist patients in reaching long term weight-loss goals.
The side effects and risks of taking weight-loss pills propose a much lower risk than the side effects and health risks of being obese long-term.
There are two categories of weight-loss pills, including:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved the four following prescription weight-loss pills for long-term usage:
Each weight-loss drug is prescribed and monitored differently over different lengths of time. They are each designed to affect the brain and body in different ways to achieve weight-loss, and therefore each has its own set of side effects.
Candidates for weight-loss pills include:
Weight-loss pills are the most commonly abused prescription drug. These appetite suppressants and metabolism stimulants closely resemble amphetamines. Like many stimulants, the dosage of these drugs must increase over time as the patient will require increasingly higher doses as their system becomes more tolerant to the stimulant.
When a doctor prescribes a weight-loss pill regimen, they will monitor a patient's tolerance and weight loss results so they can safely increase the dosage as needed. However, it is very common for a patient to misuse a prescription and begin to self-medicate when results decrease and their tolerance rises.
Long-term use and misuse can lead to a substance use disorder (SUD) and drug tolerance. Patients will require a more frequent or higher dosage to achieve the same effects.
Tolerance of weight-loss pills can begin within a few weeks to months. Depending on the patient and their previous habits, a patient could begin misusing the drug as soon as they receive the results from their first check-in appointment due to missed goals.
Many patients who wish to see faster weight-loss results will begin to alter and up their dosage in the hopes of quicker results and will, therefore, need higher doses to achieve the same results in a shorter amount of time. This abuse does not make these drugs more effective. Instead, it opens the patient up to greater dependency and higher health risks.
Inpatient and outpatient treatment for prescription weight-loss pill addiction is available. The types of treatment vary significantly and can focus on a patient's root issues with weight-loss and body image as well as detoxing the stimulants themselves. A patient can expect to need the support of a long term program in order to break an addiction to stimulants.
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